Time for tea

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Bubbly: As a boba fanatic, I’m ashamed I failed to notice T4 opened a location on the grid at 2212 16th Street a couple of months ago. At last, bubble tea lovers have another central city option besides mega-chain Quickly and the limited offerings at Vampire Penguin—perfect timing with the summer heat. T4, which also has a location in Natomas and just opened another in Elk Grove (8469 Elk Grove Boulevard), serves lots of tea drinks, smoothies and various fried Asian snacks.

And there’s more. Two nontraditional boba shops recently opened in the Arden-Arcade area, which previously didn’t have any bubble tea at all. Vapes Unlimited & Boba Tea (1968 Fulton Avenue) focuses on providing boba drinks while you vape, and Pearls Boba (2264 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Suite 102) offers a classy tea experience in a bright, trendy space with mason jars. Compared to most boba shops, Pearls’ tea list is very short, and instead of the usual savory snacks, there’s shaved ice ($7 with three toppings) prepared in a similar fashion to Vampire Penguin’s shaved snow.

Trucking along: The area’s newest food truck festival Off the Grid will inhabit River Walk Park in West Sacramento every Sunday afternoon from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. until October, with a rotating lineup of 10 food trucks and 10 vendors serving out of tents.

Off the Grid operates about 60 food truck festivals every week in the greater Bay Area, but spokesperson Sinead Kennedy considers Sacramento to be its first real expansion, with another weekly market starting Tuesday, July 12, at the Crocker Art Museum.

Anticipating the long lines that have become synonymous with food truck festivals, Off the Grid launched its partnership in a new app, Q Cutter, which lets you order specific items and pay through your phone and cut straight to the pickup window.

At the festival’s debut, attendees mostly seemed excited but also expressed dismay at the food truck lineup: they were expecting some of the Bay Area food trucks that are part of the greater Off the Grid fleet instead of the same ones that participate in SactoMofo and other local events. Kennedy says the decision falls in line with Off the Grid’s whole strategy, to treat Sacramento like its own separate entity with its own local office, local employees and all-local vendors.